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  • 1. de Vera, Jean-Pierre
    et al.
    Alawi, Mashal
    Backhaus, Theresa
    Baque, Mickael
    Billi, Daniela
    Boettger, Ute
    Berger, Thomas
    Bohmeier, Maria
    Cockell, Charles
    Demets, Rene
    de la Torre Noetzel, Rosa
    Edwards, Howell
    Elsaesser, Andreas
    Fagliarone, Claudia
    Fiedler, Annelie
    Foing, Bernard
    Foucher, Frederic
    Fritz, Joerg
    Hanke, Franziska
    Herzog, Thomas
    Horneck, Gerda
    Huebers, Heinz-Wilhelm
    Huwe, Bjoern
    Joshi, Jasmin
    Kozyrovska, Natalia
    Kruchten, Martha
    Lasch, Peter
    Lee, Natuschka
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Leuko, Stefan
    Leya, Thomas
    Lorek, Andreas
    Martinez-Frias, Jesus
    Meessen, Joachim
    Moritz, Sophie
    Moeller, Ralf
    Olsson-Francis, Karen
    Onofri, Silvano
    Ott, Sieglinde
    Pacelli, Claudia
    Podolich, Olga
    Rabbow, Elke
    Reitz, Guenther
    Rettberg, Petra
    Reva, Oleg
    Rothschild, Lynn
    Garcia Sancho, Leo
    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk
    Selbmann, Laura
    Serrano, Paloma
    Szewzyk, Ulrich
    Verseux, Cyprien
    Wadsworth, Jennifer
    Wagner, Dirk
    Westall, Frances
    Wolter, David
    Zucconi, Laura
    Limits of Life and the Habitability of Mars: The ESA Space Experiment BIOMEX on the ISS2019In: Astrobiology, ISSN 1531-1074, E-ISSN 1557-8070, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 145-157Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    BIOMEX (BIOlogy and Mars EXperiment) is an ESA/Roscosmos space exposure experiment housed within the exposure facility EXPOSE-R2 outside the Zvezda module on the International Space Station (ISS). The design of the multiuser facility supports-among others-the BIOMEX investigations into the stability and level of degradation of space-exposed biosignatures such as pigments, secondary metabolites, and cell surfaces in contact with a terrestrial and Mars analog mineral environment. In parallel, analysis on the viability of the investigated organisms has provided relevant data for evaluation of the habitability of Mars, for the limits of life, and for the likelihood of an interplanetary transfer of life (theory of lithopanspermia). In this project, lichens, archaea, bacteria, cyanobacteria, snow/permafrost algae, meristematic black fungi, and bryophytes from alpine and polar habitats were embedded, grown, and cultured on a mixture of martian and lunar regolith analogs or other terrestrial minerals. The organisms and regolith analogs and terrestrial mineral mixtures were then exposed to space and to simulated Mars-like conditions by way of the EXPOSE-R2 facility. In this special issue, we present the first set of data obtained in reference to our investigation into the habitability of Mars and limits of life. This project was initiated and implemented by the BIOMEX group, an international and interdisciplinary consortium of 30 institutes in 12 countries on 3 continents. Preflight tests for sample selection, results from ground-based simulation experiments, and the space experiments themselves are presented and include a complete overview of the scientific processes required for this space experiment and postflight analysis. The presented BIOMEX concept could be scaled up to future exposure experiments on the Moon and will serve as a pretest in low Earth orbit.

  • 2. Horneck, Gerda
    et al.
    Walter, Nicolas
    Westall, Frances
    Grenfell, John Lee
    Martin, William F.
    Gomez, Felipe
    Leuko, Stefan
    Lee, Natuschka
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Microbiology, Technical University München, München, Germany.
    Onofri, Silvano
    Tsiganis, Kleomenis
    Saladino, Raffaele
    Pilat-Lohinger, Elke
    Palomba, Ernesto
    Harrison, Jesse
    Rull, Fernando
    Muller, Christian
    Strazzulla, Giovanni
    Brucato, John R.
    Rettberg, Petra
    Capria, Maria Teresa
    AstRoMap European Astrobiology Roadmap2016In: Astrobiology, ISSN 1531-1074, E-ISSN 1557-8070, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 201-243Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are

    1. • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems

    2. • Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space

    3. • Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life

    4. • Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability

    5. • Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection

    It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system.

  • 3.
    Persson, Erik
    Lunds universitet.
    The Moral Status of Extraterrestrial Life2012In: Astrobiology, ISSN 1531-1074, E-ISSN 1557-8070, Vol. 12, no 10, p. 976-984Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    If we eventually discover extraterrestrial life, do we have any moral obligations for how to treat the life-forms we find; does it matter whether they are intelligent, sentient, or just microbial—and does it matter that they are extraterrestrial? In this paper, I examine these questions by looking at two of the basic questions in moral philosophy: What does it take to be a moral object? and What has value of what kind? I will start with the first of these questions by looking at the most important attempts to answer this question on our own planet and by asking whether and how they could be applied to extraterrestrial life. The results range from a very strong protection of all extraterrestrial life and all extraterrestrial environments, whether inhabited or not, to total exclusion of extraterrestrial life. Subsequently, I also examine whether extraterrestrial life that lacks moral status can have value to human or alien life with moral status, and if that could generate any obligations for how to treat extraterrestrial life. Based on this analysis, I conclude that extraterrestrial life-forms can have both instrumental value and end value to moral objects, which has strong implications for how to treat them.

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